Northwest Technical School FFA Chapter President Alex Wiedmaier is one of eight Missourians recently honored at the state Capitol in Jefferson City with a Breaking Traditions Award from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The awards honor students, educators and employers for their achievements related to nontraditional careers.
Wiedmaier, the daughter of Sean and Angela Wiedmaier, is a senior at Maryville High School now completing her fourth year of agricultural education at NTS. She was nominated by agriculture instructor Jackie Lacy in the award program's State Secondary category.
In addition to serving as this year's local FFA president, Wiedmaier is Area I FFA historian and serves as an A+ mentor for agricultural science. She received recognition earlier this year at the Soils Career Development Event. Her FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience focuses on sheep production.
On other fronts, Wiedmaier played soccer and basketball for the Spoofhounds and serves as chapter vice president of the Leo Club. Her memberships include National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Girl Scouts.
After graduating from MHS this spring, Wiedmaier plans to pursue a degree in agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her particular academic interests include field crop genetics and land usage related to acreage unsuitable for cultivation due to drought, heavy rain or rocky soil.
"Alex has blazed her path in the agriculture program and succeeded above and beyond," Lacy said of Wiedmaier's accomplishments over the past four years.
This year's other Breaking Boundaries recipients include:
∙State Secondary awards: Brandon Medlock, Northland Career Center, Platte County R-III School District, culinary arts.
∙State Postsecondary/Adult awards: Trevor Cavness, Columbia Area Career Center, Columbia 93 School District, practical nursing; and Jennifer Goodman, Linn State Technical College, design drafting/construction & civil technology.
∙Secondary Daphna Jones Spirit Award: Brittany Thomas, Nevada Regional Technical Center, Nevada R-V School District, construction technology.
∙Postsecondary/Adult Daphna Jones Spirit Award: Malee Alway, St. Charles Community College, computer aided drafting.
∙Educator Award: Laura Estabrooks, Columbia Area Career Center, Columbia 93 School District, Geospatial and Information Technologies.
∙Employer Award: Courtney Pennel, Monarch Children's Academy in partnership with Ozarks Technical Community College, Middle College Program.
Established in 1994, the Missouri Breaking Traditions Award honors students and educators in fields that are at least 75 percent gender specific.
State and Spirit winners receive scholarship offers from all of Missouri's state-assisted community colleges in addition to Linn State Technical College. They also receive scholarships from the Foundation for Missouri Women.